I have noticed a disturbing trend lately regarding Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).
Recently, President Obama announced executive action for immigration relief, namely for undocumented or out-of-status parents of US Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents. It is similar to the relief issued about two years ago for childhood arrivals, where deferred prosecution was offered to undocumented or out-of-status aliens who came to the United States while they were still very young. Presumably, under this plan, parents of Citizens or Greencard holders will be subject to deferred prosecution if they are not a priority for removal from the United States, and will likely be issued a work card. This would allow them to obtain social security numbers, drivers licenses, and essentially bring millions of hard-working immigrant families out of the shadows.
This is exciting news, and I understand that it is difficult to wait. But, while these announcements by the President are fairly recent, the actual plan of action is not expected to come out until March or April sometime. That means there is absolutely nothing to apply for until that time.
What I have noticed is advertisements for people to get on waiting lists at law firms, to pay for consultations about this administrative relief, to pay a fee to begin this process when we do not even know what the process will be. We can guess, based on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) how it could go—but it is just that. A guess.
True, there are things you can do in the meantime. You could be preparing your identity documents, getting police clearance, and gathering proof of your relationship to a US Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident. However, you do not have to pay for an attorney to tell you this – this is all on the USCIS website. You should not pay for an attorney to advise you on this sole issue because even we do not know all the facts about eligibility at this time. And, there is still a chance that Congress could pass legislation that derails this announcement for some time.
Until the plan is officially announced by USCIS, you should look to them for your direct guidance. Right now, USCIS is advising not to give anyone money for applications just yet.
Here are some helpful links in the meantime.
You should always check and make sure that your attorney is licensed and see if they have any ethics complaints filed against them: https://attorneyinfo.aoc.arkansas.gov/info/attorney_search/info/attorney/attorneysearch.aspx